Business needs haven't changed, Cons have lost willingness to support Atlantic Canada
I posed the following question today (Oct. 31st) in the House of Commons.
Mr. Speaker, funding for East Coast businesses from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency declined by a whopping 25 per last year alone — 25 per cent.
Businesses in Atlantic Canada haven't suddenly lost their need for support, the Conservatives have lost their willingness to support Atlantic Canada.
Except, of course, when it comes to the patronage trough.
Mr. Speaker, why are the Conservatives leaving the east coast behind?
Why is this government not committed to ACOA?
Bernard Valcourt (Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State, ACOA:
Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is wrong and fear-mongering.
If he wants to compare apples to apples and look at investment for economic development, he should take into account stimulus measures that were meant to deal with the recession and the unprecedented level of federal investment in Atlantic Canada — not only by ACOA but Industry Canada and all other departments.
Further, he should mention the shipbuilding initiative, which analysts say will create 15,000 jobs and add $2 billion in economic benefits annually.